MUNICH, GERMANY - BMW IS pushing its new 3 Series sedan hard, with more news on the model released each week in the build up to its official launch later this year in Portugal. (We'll be attending the international launch of the new 3 Series next month, so you can read our impressions on what it's like to drive soon).
NEW PLUG-IN HYBRID 330e
According to the German carmaker, the new BMW 330e plug-in hybrid saloon represents something of a revolution, offering more efficiency, an increased electric-only range and the opportunity to take advantage of more power with standard-fit performance-boosting technology.
Due to be launched in Europe in summer 2019, the BMW 330e Saloon is 30% faster than its predecessor, delivering a 50% increase in electric-only range to go with a reduction in carbon emissions of more than 10%.
ELECTRIC 'NOS' BUTTON
A cool new addition to the new 330e is the standard-fit XtraBoost function – an on-demand performance system that increases power output of the plug-in hybrid drive from 188kW by 30kW at the touch of a button. (Vin Diesel will approve.)
As well as the extra power, the updated plug-in hybrid can cover a distance of up to 60km using electric power alone (while average combined cycle fuel consumption is claimed to be an impressive 2l/100km.
HIGH TECH DRIVETRAIN
The 330e's plug-in hybrid drivetrain comprises a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (140kW) with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology aligned to an electric motor that generates up to 84kW.
Together, the two drive units develop a total output of 188kW along with a peak torque of 420Nm, but extra power can be sourced when selecting the SPORT driving mode. SPORT mode activates the XtraBoost system that draws on power stored in the high voltage battery. This offers the kind of performance and driving dynamics that are typical of the BMW 3 Series Saloon, the manufacturer says.
Thanks to all this state-of-the-art technology, the new BMW 330e Saloon can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 6.0 seconds and can go on to a top speed of 235km/h.
NUMEROUS VERSIONS AVAILABLE
We're not sure if all the derivatives will come to SA, but in th UK customers will be able to choose from SE, Sport Line and M Sport versions.
The car can also be fitted with Adaptive M suspension including Variable Sports Steering and an M sports brake system. We'll find out if the 330e is making its way to SA in the first week of December, and so will you.